Monday, May 4, 2015

Rhinestones and empty cans.

What's Happening Now?  These are:

Yes.  Chez Kimmerling is weirdly addicted to covering things in Mod Podge collage clay and rhinestones.  We got the idea from Aunt Peaches sugar skulls; I had randomly grabbed Mod Podge Collage Clay thinking it might be useful for the plaster cactii (Cinco de Molly) but never used it.  And we always have rhinestones around.  The rest is history.

I must be part magpie (or rat, if you are looking to be negative) because I find the sparkly surfaces totally mesmerizing.  I have one container--the inaugural attempt from Charlotte--at my office  for pens, and I have to say that I find them more compelling in a grouping.

As Molly remarked the other weekend, the process "is so peaceful."  Just sitting in the kitchen,  sticking rhinestones into icing is our kind of meditation.  Its a bit of a puzzle, fitting the rhinestones together...but not one that you can really get wrong.

Collage clay is like just like icing, and it even comes in a bag with icing tips.  It is super light weight as well, so you might be able to come up with some jewelry craft for the littles.  So far we have used empty cans, a (baby) shoe box, gelato pint and a Harney & Sons tin.  We cover them with rhinestones, sequins, seed pearls and bugle beads--we tried using mardi gras beads to sort of finish the top edge, but it's still a work in progress.

The girl's are sure that this is our route to millions--everyone will want to buy these.  However, the materials cost is a little high:  Collage clay is $10/tube.  It does cover more than you think:  we covered 2 small cans, the tea tin and the large (15oz) can with 2 tubes.  Rhinestones aren't cheap either--you get what you pay for.  We keep a ready supply of rhinestones around in our household, probably more consistently than scotch tape.  We had an unopened 1 lb bag that is about halfway used up now, and I'm sure I've spent another $10-$15 on random rhinestones since we started (to give us some more variety). 

It was in researching cheaper options for collage clay online that I discovered why collage clay exists and why it comes with icing tips:  decoden, a Japanese craft fad that involves covering your cell phone in fake icing and sweets.  The fad has moved on to handheld gaming devices and even nails.

pics via
It also explains why Mod Podge makes a permanent chocolate syrup you can drizzle over things 'cause that seemed super weird (it still kinda does).  At first I was like "Oh, Japan" and carried on as I had been.  But the idea of icing is growing on me...perhaps that is the way to finish off the edges.

Obviously you are all dying to go make these, so here are the things we've learned:  The clay starts to lose its stickiness in about 5-10 minutes, so don't spread too much at once.  While it takes 7 days to fully cure according to the packaging, after 24 hours it can be handled.  Molly takes 2 sessions to finish a can--if you can't do it in one sitting, taper off the clay so there is no line between sessions.

Also, glitter will stick to the un-set clay.  And if you need some rhinestones, Darice makes 1 lb bags that are good quality. seems to have the best price.

It really is crazy easy.  And crazy sparkly.

I've been researching ways to up our game on rhinestone encrusting, and considering how this plays into my love of antique tramp art via 1st Dibs...but this post is getting long so we'll save those tangents for another day :)  This is not the last you'll hear of my sparkly cans.

[Editor's Note:  This was happening before I got sick.  These don't happen during survival mode, sort of like blogging.  I actually thought I put up a quick note/post explaining the radio silence but in my delirium it appears I didn't hit publish--sorry!  I had some crazy swine flu terrible.  But I'm on the mend tell me what I've been missing on the internet.]

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